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Choosing Between Outpatient and Inpatient Treatment

DARA Inpatient Treatment

The choice to seek drug and alcohol treatment can be difficult enough. Deciding between outpatient and inpatient treatment is also difficult. There are arguments for either program. The choice really boils down to the specific needs of the patient. There are several things to consider.

The amount of time a person has been using a substance can make the choice between inpatient and outpatient treatment more clear. For people who have been using a drug for a relatively short time, outpatient may work well. There are those who use a drug or drink for a just a few years. Some of these people may be quite young, and for whatever reason they recognize that their using has become problematic. These are often people referred to as “high-bottom” alcoholics. People who see a problem with their drinking or drug use well before there are severe consequences like broken relationships and legal problems and have decided they need help with addiction treatment. These people may well be fine with an outpatient program which intervenes on a problem that has not gotten severe.

There are those who have identified a problem with drugs and/or alcohol but also have an extensive network of support already in place. These types of patients can usually do with an outpatient program. With the help and support of a family, friends, and qualified medical care, many people can take the lessons and therapy from outpatient treatment and continue to apply them. They have a a good shot at remaining sober.

For people who have lived with alcoholism, for example, for a long time, people who have established a pattern of problematic drinking that is deeply embedded in their lives and even their very identities—these types of people probably require inpatient treatment. The medical problems which can attend long-standing alcohol abuse can be devastating. The help of a qualified medical staff may become necessary. Unlearning the habits of life-time can be difficult. Alcoholics of this type may require the intensive treatment of inpatient programs along with the round the clock monitoring. This only comes with inpatient treatment.

Another thing to consider is that some types of drugs are just so powerfully addicted that short term intervention is not likely to work. Heroin, for example, tends to grip addicts so thoroughly that it can be impossible to break the cycle of addiction without a full immersion in inpatient treatment. Heroin specifically seems to create a cycle of use and abuse, abstaining and relapse that is so powerful that users cannot get out of it without removing themselves form their environments.

Whatever your substance issues may be, there are vast options for treatment. The ideal thing is to consult with a doctor to see what your individual needs might be. Inpatient treatment is certainly not for everyone and not everyone even requires it. But making this decision is a serious one and you should take an honest assessment of you needs when choosing a treatment program.

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